How Do I File a Claim for a Semi Truck Accident?
San Jose Truck Accident Lawyer Explains These Unique Injury Claims
Commercial trucking accidents generally result in more severe injuries than a typical auto accident and often cause wrongful deaths. Additionally, trucking accident lawsuits are often highly complex due to the unique set of laws pertaining only to commercial truck drivers. These laws and regulations are intended to protect motorists from unsafe truck drivers and negligent trucking companies. However, companies and drivers often neglect these rules in the interest of profits. Then, when this negligence causes accidents and injuries, the insurance companies that provide coverage to trucking companies fight to minimize what they pay out for claims. For these reasons, you should contact a San Jose truck accident lawyer if you or a loved one sustained injuries in a trucking wreck.
The staff at the Law Offices of Braid Pezzaglia have experience with injury claims and lawsuits against negligent truck drivers and their employers. The cause of a truck crash may not always be readily apparent, but we fully investigate the accident, driver logbooks and the policies of the trucking company. San Jose truck accident lawyer Braid Pezzaglia has helped many victims and families cope with the catastrophic effects of big rig accidents. Our law firm always represents injury victims on a contingency fee basis, so that you owe us nothing unless we get results for you.
What Are California Commercial Trucking Laws?
In addition to traffic laws that every driver on the road must obey, a specific set of state laws and federal regulations called the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations apply to commercial trucking companies and their employees. When a truck accident happens, an investigation may be necessary to determine the cause. Often, negligence on the part of the driver and/or trucking company is to blame. Many companies fail to properly enforce commercial trucking regulations; some even pressure drivers to ignore certain rules, such as hours of service limits.
State and federal law pertaining to the trucking industry addresses:
- Truck driver licensing requirements
- Drug and alcohol use and testing
- Hours of service
- Required documentation for hours of service and maintenance
- Weight, size and route limitations
- Insurance minimums
Determining the cause of a truck collision may require investigation into the driver’s logbook and the trucking company’s records. A logbook could reveal that a driver was behind the wheel for too long, resulting in dangerous drowsy driving, reducing the driver’s ability to prevent wrecks. Alternatively, the logs may show that the truck exceeded the applicable weight limit. This could prevent the truck from being able to stop in time to avoid an accident. An experienced trucking accident attorney will know what to look for and where to find it.
How Do I File a Claim Against a Trucking Company?
Victims of trucking accidents may not be aware that, in most circumstances, the trucking company is liable for the actions of its employees. This means that the commercial trucking company may be liable for your injuries and damages. Usually, commercial carriers must insure their drivers and vehicles. However, this means that both the insurance adjuster and the attorneys working for the trucking company will be working against you when you file a claim.
The requirements for holding a trucking company liable after an employee causes an accident are complex. For instance, the driver must have been acting within the course and scope of his or her employment when the accident occurred. Proving that an act was committed “within the scope of employment” can be a difficult task. Common factors that may determine whether an accident occurred in the course and scope of employment include:
- The time, place and nature of the accident.
- Type of work the driver was hired to do.
- Incidental acts the employer can reasonably expect occur, depending on the circumstances.
- The amount of freedom allowed to the driver in performing his or her duties.
- The route the driver was following or should have been following, including known hazards.
- Whether the driver was on a detour for personal tasks.
Very few accidents are clear-cut and so the trucking company may try to avoid liability based on the unique details of your case. Therefore, you should always speak with a qualified San Jose truck accident attorney after a collision involving a big rig. A lawyer can advise you of your legal rights and help you stand up to the trucking company, if necessary.
Injured by a Big Rig? Contact Our San Jose Truck Accident Lawyer
If you sustained injuries in an accident involving a semi, then contact the Law Offices of Braid Pezzaglia. Our experienced San Jose truck accident attorney has a notable track record recovering high dollar judgments and settlements. Do not fight the insurance company on your own. The claims process for truck accidents is complicated; have a dedicated legal professional on your side can help protect your right to compensation.
If you were injured in trucking crash or lost a loved one in a collision with a semi truck, then contact our office online or call (408) 752-5834.